Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Damn Neighbor and his Damn White Van

We've had this little problem for a while now with our neighbor across the road - until tonight, that is, when it suddenly turned into a bigger problem. And not for him, mind you, but for me.

You see, the man insists on parking his big white van almost directly across the street from our driveway, making it difficult for us to get out and nearly impossible to get back in.

Well, actually we should drop that "nearly" part and just say impossible, given the fact of the event which I shall soon describe.

Now, my wife had spoken to this man on several occasions in the past, beginning with rather civil requests that he please not park there and leading up to the more direct demand, delivered just the night before, that he stop parking his damn van in front of the damn driveway, dammit!

Oh, ya, sorry, Bu, sorry, ya, ya.

So I come home from shopping in Sanur this evening, and there is the damn van parked in front of the damn driveway. Ya.

I honk the horn. No one appears. I lay on the horn. No one appears.

And here is where I make my first mistake.

Instead of just parking my own damn car, or rather my wife's damn car, because I don't have a damn car and can't drive my damn bike because of my damn neck injury, in the middle of the street and blocking all traffic altogether, I pause, survey the situation, inspect the narrow avenue of approach, and arrive upon the conclusion (which seems in hindsight extravagantly ridiculous) that I can maneuver front-ways into our driveway and be done with the matter.

It might have been a happy ending, or at least a harmless one. But fate was against me. Perception betrayed me. My eyesight failed me. In short, I ran half the car into the driveway and the other half into the wall.

Now, the problem is not only the damned white van or the damned owner of the damn van, but that I myself am damned - quite damned and quite doomed when my wife finds out that I wrecked her damn car.

And who should appear this very moment but the owner of that van. The villain behind this whole sad incident. The cause of my damnation. The snake! The dimwit! This very author of treachery.

So, I commit my second error.

"Hey!" I shout as he tries to slink into the van. "Bajingan tolol sialan. Istri-ku baru minta jangan parkir di sana, kan. Apa-apaan! Dia sudah bilang jangan begitu dengan mobil sialan anda."

And then I added some words in English, which neither he nor anyone else really needs to know.

And after he re-parked his car and reemerged, I returned to his side of the street with even more words which no one really needs to know. Or say.

And now it is hours later, 3:30 in the morning, and I'm sitting in the yard feeling devastated not by this man's stupidity, but my own. I'm sitting here seeing his face. The face of a grown man about to cry. And there is nothing so terrible as the face of a grown man about to cry. I'm sitting here wondering why my brain doesn't work, and why my heart doesn't work, and why I can't see straight, and why I can't do anything right, and why I so continually betray the three loves of my life: God, mercy, and my wife.

I'm sitting here wondering just who I am.

And I will not sleep tonight.

And in the morning I will seek a place for repairs.

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